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How a GOAT is now a 'dog: Tom Brady’s record 74-game streak as a favorite at stake

The Bucs are underdogs for their Week 1 game at New Orleans. If that holds up, it means Brady will not be favored in a regular-season start for the first time since Week 2 of 2015.
Tom Brady may not be so keen to shake hands with Saints coach Sean Payton if his Bucs falter in the season opener to their NFC South rival.
Tom Brady may not be so keen to shake hands with Saints coach Sean Payton if his Bucs falter in the season opener to their NFC South rival. [ BUTCH DILL | Associated Press (2017) ]
Published May 8, 2020

He is with a new team for the first time in his now 21-year career, might as well be in an unfamiliar position, too.

Tom Brady will open his first season with the Bucs as an underdog to the Saints in their Week 1 matchup on Sept. 13 in New Orleans. The Saints are favored by 6½ points, per Caesars Sportsbook, meaning Brady will not be favored for the first time in 74 regular-season starts, according to ESPN Stats & Information, the longest such streak in the Super Bowl era (since 1967).

Brady, barring dramatic betting line movement between now and kickoff, will be an underdog in the regular season for the first time since Week 2 in 2015, when his New England Patriots were a 1-point dog at the Buffalo Bills, according to ESPN.

Related: A rivalry rekindled: Bucs’ Tom Brady vs. Saints’ Drew Brees

"Can’t imagine that will ever be broken,” John Murray, executive director of the SuperBook at Westgate Las Vegas, told ESPN. “How many guys will ever be that good, play for a coach that good, in a system that good and in a division that bad for that long?”

Interestingly, the owner of the next-longest active streak (nine), according to ESPN Stats & Information, happens to be Saints quarterback Drew Brees, the favorite in that Week 1 matchup,

A former Bucs quarterback holds the second-longest career streak, though not because of his two years in Tampa Bay. Steve Young, who began his NFL career with the Bucs (1985-86), but later starred for 49ers en route to a Hall of Fame career, went 62 regular-season starts (1993-97) as a favorite, ESPN said.

Related: Who has it worse? Ranking the NFC South schedules

Brady has been an underdog bettor’s friend when not favored during the regular season. The six-time Super Bowl champion led the Patriots to outright wins in 29 of his 47 regular-season games as an underdog, according to ESPN, and New England was 33-13-1 against the spread as an underdog in Brady starts.